Delaware River Basin Commission moves toward fracking ban

Delaware River Basin Commission considers fracking ban

Delaware River Basin Commission considers fracking ban

The Delaware watershed supplies Philadelphia and half of New York City with drinking water.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted 3-1, with one abstention, on Wednesday to adopt a resolution calling for a draft rulemaking to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and related natural gas development activities.

"If we're going to truly protect the Delaware River watershed from all of fracking's harmful effects, the final proposal must include banning fracking wastewater from being imported into the watershed or water withdrawals from the Delaware River to be used in the fracking process", stated Doug O'Malley, Director for Environment New Jersey.

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NY banned horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing statewide in 2015.

Instead, representatives of the commission's five members - Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and the federal government - will vote on whether to begin a rule-making process.

Commissioner Mark Klotz, representing Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said the state is "strongly supportive of the resolution". This includes a ban on the disposal, storage, treatment or discharge of fracking wastewater, as well as a ban on any water withdrawals from the Delaware River Basin for fracking or fracking-related purposes.

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The resolution requires the director to publish for public comment new regulations by November 30. More than 10,000 Marcellus wells have been drilled in other parts of Pennsylvania since a natural gas boom began almost 10 years ago, but the industry has been prevented from developing its acreage in the DE watershed. While posturing the possibility of a ban on fracking in some parts of our watershed, the resolution opens the door wide to numerous most devastating impacts that drilling and fracking for shale brings to waterways and communities.

Fracking is a technique that uses huge volumes of pressurized water, along with sand and chemicals, to crack open gas-bearing shale rock deep underground.

We need people to show up at the DRBC meeting on Wednesday to tell the commission to ban fracking but don't dump on the Delaware!

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In a joint letter Tuesday, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry (PCBI) urged Wolf to reject the DRBC's resolution.

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